In 2019, against a black and white backdrop and an invisible (save for the hands) prop man handing him whiskey and ice, the latter which he refuses, Oladipo Eso, just after ditching the already copyrighted Poe‘ for a more original stage name, ‘Ladipoe,’ also ditched gunning for the Nigerian rap throne for the African rap throne; declaring himself as the man to bear the Torch of Nigerian rap music in the Post-Abaga era. He enthroned himself as the LEADER OF THE REVIVAL (LOTR).
”Allow me to introduce myself in a way that you will understand me, Nigeria’s best chance of a rapper winning a Grammy.” He said smoothly, spotting a fresh fade lowcut and mustache, dressed as simple as the black and white backdrop, signifying that he wants recognition for his lyrics and not because he’s selling ”bling.”
To further his stance on making a name than chasing fame, Poe spits, ” I treat my legacy as a package you can’t recycle but I always see the Judas in people they call disciples,” swearing allegiance only to his ‘lifelines’ as he calls his cult fanbase, and not random industry trend hoppers, who will abandon the ship when the going gets rough.
Poe is as much a product of the older rappers he idolized as he is a product of the times in which he lives and practices his craft, seen clearly in lyrics like; ”I’m so deadly on arrival, at a time when tweets are more lethal than a loaded rifle, referring to the internet culture of the times which he spoke about on LOTR II, on the line ” I hate the irony of COVID-19‘s arrival on a generation already obsessed with going viral.”
Poe does not rap with a faux American accent, you know, ”a rapper’s accent.’ He raps like your regular Nigerian cousin flirting with a girl at a family function. He is very rooted in Nigerian culture as he references, ” Rashidi Yekini,” on LOTR and lyrics like, ”I learned to drive in Lagos so I’m never sticking to my lane,” and ”I never pray when p[olice stop me at checkpoints, cos a thousand Naira is a better form of protection,” shedding light on the situation of an uber-religious country who abandon religious tenets in the church.
Ladipoe carries Nigerian rap music on his back and Nigeria on his tongue, representing with every move he makes, and he carries his name along, as he does it. ” When I’m rocking a custom jersey that’s the only time I play with my name.” BAR! BAR!
”I’m still Nigeria’s best chance of a rapper winning a Grammy, but for now, their first rapper to ever attend the Grammys” the dreaded lyricist declares of the bat as Kel P’s beat sets a mellow tone to this lyrical re-enthronement. The beat which is originally from labelmate, Rema’s ‘FYN‘ ft. AJ Tracy.
Re-affirming his lyrical prowess as the number one vehicle to push the gospel of the revival on the freestyle he titles, ‘Best Young Nigga,’ he posits, ” I need a Nike deal for my pen game, Lord knows all of my verses should be in King James.”‘
”Flight heavy two days, because to chase the bag means living out of a suitcase…” raps the emcee who just returned from Los Angeles, California. I guess Fireboy is not the only one jamming in Cali, the life of an artist is one spent on the road and who better to paint that picture than Poe?
An intellectual who raps for the common man, only will use a pidgin connective to end a triple entendre about plaques and platinum, ” compliments give me a toothache, I’m all about the plaque, like say platinum dey the toothpaste,” Pronouncing ”Platinum” the Nigerian accented way, ”PLA-TI-NOM,’ as opposes to ”PLAT-NOM.”
Bars like, ‘ do it for my city that’s smiling in pain, to us patience no be virtue it’s just somebody’s name,” reminds one of the Nigerian reality.
”My advice for those who waiting, carry a hard drive there’s always something worth saving,” everyone knows that one Nigerian uncle always giving unsolicited advice, every chance he gets. Uncle Ladi does it in double entendres.
Ending the verse with ”got the grace of God with me cos my mumsi stays praying,” is as Nigerian as Nigerian can get. It’s like a bowl of Jollof with rhymes.
Like the first bar said, Ladipoe recently attended the 64th Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, and most likely the experience ref-fuelled his drive to make the first line of this verse a reality. Probably bagging a Gage award in June before then.
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